CTV YOUR MORNING Host Anne-Marie Mediwake Elevates Canada’s Conversation About Mental Health with IN THEIR OWN WORDS: A BELL LET’S TALK DAY SPECIAL, January 30 on CTV

— January 16, 2019

– In the primetime special, host Anne-Marie Mediwake speaks with several Canadians, including Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock, about their personal experience with mental illness and efforts to break the stigma –
– BELL LET’S TALK LIVE recaps Bell Let’s Talk Day across the country, streaming on Twitter, CTV.ca, and the CTV app from 6:45 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET–

TORONTO (January 16, 2019) – In support of Bell Let’s Talk Day 2019, CTV YOUR MORNING’s Anne-Marie Mediwake hosts IN THEIR OWN WORDS: A BELL LET’S TALK DAY SPECIAL, an all-new primetime special premiering Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CTV and CTV2. The one-hour special, featuring real stories from Canadians living with mental health challenges and representing specific areas where greater stigma still exists is simulcast on Twitter, CTV.ca, and the CTV app as part of the three-hour BELL LET’S TALK LIVE interactive special. During the primetime special, Mediwake visits homes, schools, and workplaces and listens to seven different stories of struggle, recovery, support, and hope. With mental health challenges including depression, postpartum depression, PTSD, drug addiction, social anxiety, and self-harm, the special highlights not only mental health, but the path from illness to wellness. “With nearly one billion interactions since 2011, the Bell Let’s Talk Day campaign has been encouraging positive mental health conversations on an incredible scale, and I’m honoured to be a part of such an impactful initiative,” said Mediwake. “This experience taught me that no recovery is the same and, after having the opportunity to speak with everyone in the special, I realized how hard they struggled to reclaim themselves. Thank you to these individuals whose perseverance will provide inspiration for others to find the light at the end of the tunnel.” As well, the interactive three-hour special BELL LET’S TALK LIVE streams live around the world on Twitter, CTV.ca, and the CTV app from 6:45 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET / 3:45 p.m. – 7 p.m. PT. Hosted by CTV THE SOCIAL’s and YOUR MORNING’s Melissa Grelo, BELL LET’S TALK LIVE features interviews with medical experts, political leaders, celebrities, and additional notable guests. The special recaps and adds a fresh perspective to the Bell Let’s Talk Day media coverage throughout the day, including segments from THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW, THE SOCIAL, ETALK, and CTV NEWS. The special will also highlight contributions from celebrities and social media. BELL LET’S TALK LIVE streams in simulcast with IN THEIR OWN WORDS: A BELL LET’S TALK DAY SPECIAL from 7– 8 p.m. ET. Viewers can connect with the show on Twitter using @Bell_LetsTalk and #BellLetsTalk. The following friends of Bell Let’s Talk and their stories are featured in the CTV special, in alphabetical order: Mike Babcock Although publicly known as the tough head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the mental and physical well-being of his players always takes precedence, on or off the ice. Mike Babcock started to focus on mental health initiatives after losing two close friends, and while he tries to help drive the dialogue, he also recognizes that mental illness continues to be a taboo topic in the dressing room, with work still to be done. Josh and Lisa Canning When Lisa married Josh, she knew he had suffered from depression in his youth, but it was only after five years of marriage, two children, and a third pregnancy that she spotted signs of a possible relapse. She thought she lost her husband, but after making lifestyle changes and accepting mental illness as part of their day-to-day lives, the couple is now thriving with seven children. Jennifer Green Jennifer Green shares her experience with postpartum depression in the hopes of helping other struggling mothers. While she recognizes now she had postpartum with her firstborn, it wasn’t until the birth of her second son that she finally admitted she needed help. Now a happy mother of four, Green wants to break the stigma around postpartum depression and let other mothers know they are not alone and it’s okay to ask for help. Asante Haughton Mental illness is something Asante has been exposed to all his life. When he was 14, he suffered from social anxiety and severe depression, and found it difficult to be open about his diagnosis. Now a peer support worker and motivational speaker, Asante shares his story to try and break the barriers that keep young men from seeking help. David K. Henry A truck driver by trade for more than 30 years, David K. Henry spent most of his life on the road. In 2001, Henry was diagnosed with depression and PTSD as a result of several bad accidents and daily isolation. Now, he speaks to fellow truck drivers nationwide about his experience with mental illness, the importance of making changes, and being more open about mental well-being in the trucking industry. Andi Sharma A senior policy analyst with the Government of Manitoba and a newly trained pilot, Andi Sharma understands no one is immune to hardship. Her troubles began with the death of her father when she was 19, and she turned to drugs to numb her pain, which quickly became a daily routine. Clean now for more than six years, Sharma learned to love herself and accept the scars of her past. Krista Van Slingerland Krista Van Slingerland was a star varsity basketball player when the pressure and demands of the sport sent her spiraling into depression and she started to self-harm. The mental toughness she needed to be a top athlete made it difficult for her to admit she needed help. Now, Van Slingerland is the co-founder of the Canadian Centre for Mental Health and Sport, the first of its kind in Canada, where she focuses on the mental health needs of high-level athletes. Immediately following its broadcast, IN THEIR OWN WORDS: A BELL LET’S TALK DAY SPECIAL will be available on CTV.ca, the CTV app, YouTube, and the all-new Crave, beginning Jan. 30 at 8 p.m. ET. Viewers can also watch previous Bell Let’s Talk Day specials now on Crave. Bell Let’s Talk Day 2019 is Wednesday, Jan. 30. Everyone is invited to join the conversation on Bell Let's Talk Day by sending messages of support across multiple platforms to drive both awareness and action in mental health. Bell will donate 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of the following interactions on Bell Let’s Talk Day, at no extra cost to participants beyond what they would normally pay their service provider for online or phone access:
  • Talk: Every mobile and every long distance call made by Bell wireless and phone customers
  • Text: Every text message sent by Bell wireless customers
  • Twitter: Every tweet and retweet using #BellLetsTalk, featuring the special Bell Let’s Talk emoji, and every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at Twitter.com/Bell_LetsTalk
  • Facebook: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk and every use of the Bell Let’s Talk frame
  • Instagram: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at Instagram.com/Bell_letstalk
  • Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk filter and every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view
Total Bell Let’s Talk Day interactions since the first event in 2011 stand at 867,449,649 and are expected to exceed 1 billion on January 30. Bell’s funding commitment for mental health, including the company’s donations based on Bell Let’s Talk engagement and its original $50-million donation to launch the initiative, is now $93,423,628.80 and expected to surpass $100 million on January 30. In THEIR OWN WORDS: A BELL LET’S TALK SPECIAL is produced by Bell Media Studios. Michelle Crespi is Executive Producer and Kristen Rynax is Supervising Producer. Nanci Maclean, is Vice-President, Bell Media Studios and President, Pinewood Studios. Pat DiVittorio is Vice-President, CTV and Specialty Programming, Mike Cosentino is President, Content and Programming, Bell Media. Randy Lennox is President, Bell Media.

About Bell Let’s Talk

The Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative is focused on 4 key action pillars: Anti-stigma, Care and Access, Research and Workplace Leadership. Since its launch in September 2010, Bell Let’s Talk has partnered with more than 900 organizations providing mental health services throughout Canada, including major donations to hospitals, universities and other care and research organizations. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

About CTV

CTV is Canada’s #1 private broadcaster. Featuring a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming, CTV has been Canada’s most-watched television network for the past 17 years in a row. CTV is a division of Bell Media, Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, digital, and Out-of-Home. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. More information about CTV can be found on the network’s website at CTV.ca.

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